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CS:GO Trade Up Contracts Guide

CS:GO Trade Up Contracts Guide

The role and importance of skins in CS:GO is actually tremendous. These items allow players to bring their unique style into the virtual environment, emphasize their skills and status, and just change the general mood of the shooting matches. The skins trading feature is significant to the community. It supports various businesses around the game, brings extra money to esports, and motivate gamers to play CS:GO more — who doesn’t want that cool-looking weapon?

It is possible to get skins in various ways. One of them is creating a CS:GO trade up contract to exchange 10 skins from your inventory to one of a higher quality. It’s definitely a less certain affair than purchasing a specific CS:GO skin on DMarket. But also, these contracts are much more predictable than the random drop after your matches.

This CS:GO guide on DMarket explains how to use a trade up contract in CS:GO

What is a CS:GO Trade Up Contract?

Generally, it’s kind of a crafting mechanic. You take 10 skins and craft a new one out of them. Name it an exchange if you want. These contracts are an in-build option that helps players use items they don’t use in the game to get something they want and of a higher quality.

How to Use Trade Up Contracts in CS:GO

trade up contract example

Trade Up is an internal game tool.

  1. Go to your inventory.
  2. Right-click the skins you want to exchange and choose Use With Trade Up Contract.
  3. Press the Proceed button.
  4. Enjoy your new skin on the screen and press Continue

That’s it. Technically everything is very simple. You only need 10 skins of the same quality (rarity). But to make such a trade worth it, you need to delve into the topic a bit deeper.

The Basics of CS:GO Trade Ups

Every CS:GO trade up contract follows simple rules:

  • You can’t mix StatTrak and non-StatTrak skins.

  • You get a new skin from the collections the initial items belong to. For example, if all 10 items are from the 2021 Dust 2 collection, the outcome also will be from 2021 Dust 2. If you add a skin from 2021 Mirage to that pot, there will be a 10% chance you’ll get skins from this collection.

  • The quality (rarity) of the skin you get is higher than the items you use for crafting. You’re adding 10 items of the same level to the contract, so you’ll know the quality of the result. If they are also from one collection, you also know the exact items you can get.

  • The float also depends on the skins you use for the contract. Check out our CS:GO float and wear guide if you are not familiar with this term. In general, it’s about scratches on the image. New, fresh-looking skins are more expensive. The trade up system calculates the float of the skin you get on the basis of those you put in the pot. It’s a good idea to use special tools to predict the result with your items (we list them later).

How to Make Profit from Trade Up Contracts

csgo trade up profit

There are two main ways of how to make a trade up contract in CS:GO.

  • First is to enjoy the risk and don’t put too much thought into the process. Randomness can be fun, and you will have your ups and downs. Choose this approach if you like risk and don’t expect something specific from the contracts. It’s a good way to clean up your inventory.

  • The second way is to calculate your chances of getting a specific skin or the highest profit possible. It might be something you want for your personal collection. Or it might be an expensive item — and that’s how to make money with CS:GO trade up contracts. The basic formula here is to add cheaper skins into the crafting pot and then get a rarer skin you could sell for bigger money.

Part of the trade up process is strictly mathematical. You can calculate:

  • Float. It depends on the average float numbers of all 10 skins you put in a contract. The whole process is rather tricky, so it would be better to use special tools if you want to predict this aspect of your CS:GO trade up contract.

  • Probability of getting exact skins. Say you make a trade up contract with P250 | Digital Architect, Galil AR | CAUTION!, and MAG-7 | Prism Terrace. They all are Restricted skins from 2021 Vertigo. This collection has only two skins of the higher quality, Classified: SG 553 | Hazard Pay and Five-SeveN | Fall Hazard. So, if you make such a contract (please, don’t! This is just an example, it’s not profitable), you have a 50/50 chance of getting one of those.

Float is pretty important as it directly affects the final price. If you want to earn money, always calculate the potential outcome. There is a simple trick to increase your chance of getting more money from a trade up contract in CS:GO. You have nine relatively expensive skins from one collection, and you add a cheaper skin of the same quality from another collection. Your chance of getting an item from that cheaper collection is only 10%.

Adding cheaper skins to the trade up pot is the only tool you have to make profit. But the risk of burning out your items and getting something you don’t want also becomes higher.

Predicting your chance with trade up contracts is not as difficult as it might sound (it doesn’t nullify the risks, though). And if you are serious about the game, you already have the needed skills from calculating your team budget. We discuss this aspect of the game in our guide to CS:GO economy basics.

Most Profitable CS:GO Trade Up Contracts

Everyone who wants to know how to make money with CS:GO trade up contracts, should understand one thing: high profit is possible only with high risks.

Apart from the things you can calculate, the mechanic is random. If you use the most straightforward approach and take skins from one collection, you will most likely lose money — a higher quality skin is not more expensive than 10 lower quality ones. Do you think the whole industry of trading skins would exist if you could just craft skins and get quick profit?

Adding more skins from cheaper collections will increase your potential revenue — but also, the risk of getting a chipper skin increases. If you are lucky, you’ll get a profitable contract.

Let’s demonstrate this risk-reward situation in a couple of examples:

Please note, these examples do not guarantee you any revenue. They are purely to explain the mechanic of CS:GO trade up contracts. We don’t mention Float in these examples to make it more straightforward, but it is still an important factor.

Example 1 — Aim at Restricted Skins from the 2021 Dust 2 Collection

The collection has three Restricted skins: MAC-10 | Case Hardened, USP-S | Orange Anolis, and M4A4 | Red DDPAT. To get one of them for sure, you need to trade up ten of these four Mil-Spec skins: Galil AR | Amber Fade, Nova | Quick Sand, P250 | Black & Tan, and G3SG1 | New Roots. They all have a similar price.

If you create a trade up contract with these Mil-Spec skins, you have a 33.3% chance of getting one of the 2021 Dust 2 Collection Restricted skins. M4A4 | Red DDPAT is generally more expensive than the other two, but only luck can help you get this skin. The trade up is not profitable in its straightforward state. You have to add cheaper skins to hope for revenue.

You can take Mil-Spec skins from the Italy collection: Sawed-Off | Full Stop, Glock-18 | Candy Apple, or MP7 | Anodized Navy. They are significantly cheaper.

Want to make the trade up potentially really profitable? Then add five Italy skins. But be aware — you will have a 50/50 chance of getting a Restricted skin from Italy: AWP | Pit Viper, which is also cheap.

Example 2 — Aim at Restricted Skins from Overpass Collection

CSGO trade up

This collection has two Restricted skins: AWP | Pink DDPAT and USP-S | Road Rash.

And it has three Mil-Spec skins: XM1014 | VariCamo Blue, SSG 08 | Detour, and CZ75-Auto | Nitro. Put them into the trade up pot, and you will have a 50/50 chance of getting one of the Restricted skins. AWP | Pink DDPAT is more expensive, so it’s a more profitable result.

But without adding cheaper skins, the trade up is not worth bothering with. You can use Dual Berettas | Anodized Navy from the Inferno collection. Add three such skins, and your chances of getting Overpass Restricted skins in this case becomes 70%, or 35% for AWP | Pink DDPAT.

You could find some YouTube videos with the most profitable CS:GO trade up contracts. Please be aware that those guys do their own business. They spend a lot of money to make such content and bring views to their channels. Your chance to repeat one of those tricks… well, it’s not big at all. Also, it’s a market, so prices change continually. Something that works today might not work tomorrow. Just copying someone’s trade up contract doesn’t mean you will get the same result or the same profit.

Trade up contracts have their use, alright. But don’t expect a reliable way of getting big money without risk. If you are really serious, take a look at our guide on how to trade skins. Marketplaces give you more options for getting specific skins and earning in the process.

Useful Tools

Trade Up Spy calculator

Let’s mention some tools that might help you calculate your chances with trade up contracts and even come up with ideas for profitable contracts.

  • Trade Up Spy — it’s a pretty useful site with a calculator that helps you experiment with different trade ups and the Trade Up section, where you can find examples of profitable contracts.

  • CS:GO Stash is a detailed database of skins. It’s a great tool to see what items the game has to offer. Use it to check out the available collections, their skins, and average prices.

CS:GO trade up contracts is a fun tool for dedicated players. If you have lots of random skins from the drop, and you don’t use them in the matches, craft something else with them. Refresh your inventory, and let the game surprise you.

As a business tool, the trade up mechanic requires some calculations from your side, and still it remains very risky. Want to make money with trade up contracts in CS:GO? Then be ready to lose. You cannot rely on luck.

Trading skins on DMarket gives you more versatile options. It might be profitable to sell your skins on the marketplace, wait for a good offer, and then buy skins for your CS:GO fun or to sell further with some revenue.


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